Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Details of training and assessment of Human Factors Inspectors

Information released

A series of questions, regarding the internal training and assessment of Human Factors Specialist Inspectors:

ONR can rely to each point as follows.

  1. Human Factors specialist inspectors are normally required to hold qualifications that would confer eligibility for membership of a relevant professional body such as the IEHF or the British Psychological Society.
  2. There is no requirement for a Human Factors Specialist Inspector to be a registered member of the IEHF
  3. All new nuclear safety inspectors undergo a period of comprehensive regulatory core training once they commence work at ONR. Typically, a new inspector will receive circa 30 person days of training within their first twelve months. Initially new inspectors are appointed with a Limited Warrant, whereby their legal powers under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 are restricted, to exclude those powers associated with undertaking formal enforcement and / or investigations. Following attendance at a sub set of 6 defined courses, which have a strong legal and enforcement focus, the inspector undergoes a structured conversation interview process with their line manager, supported by the training function, to assess their competences to hold a Full Warrant. Following successful completion, the inspector is issued with a Full Warrant, giving them the full range of legal powers. This overall process generally takes between 6 and 12 months from commencing work at ONR.

    There is no defined period before new inspectors may engage directly with dutyholders. However, they are supervised and their work overseen during their initial period by their work colleagues, who act as coaches, in addition to their line manager (Career and Development Manager), their delivery leads, and also their Professional Lead who provides technical leadership for their specialism (e.g. Human and Organisational Capability). Their written output is overseen and peer reviewed as necessary in accordance with ONR processes and procedures.
  4. There is no defined period before new inspectors can be involved in inspecting and assessing arrangements on a licensed site. However, during their first year whilst they are undergoing their initial period of regulatory core training they will be more closely supervised and supported within their particular programme of work.
  5. As stated in response to question 3), new inspectors typically receive circa 30 person days of regulatory core training within their first 12 months of work at ONR, to enable them to undergo the transition from technical expert into a regulator. This is a continuous process, and further training will be undertaken in subsequent years, in terms of further training courses, including refresher training as appropriate.
  6. Newly recruited inspectors are assigned to work within a particular specialism, where technical / regulatory leadership is provided by the specialism Professional Lead (e.g. Human and Organisational Capability Professional Lead). The inspectors are then allocated to work within programmes, effectively working for delivery leads, and under the guidance and coaching of colleagues as appropriate. The line manager, (Career and Development Manager) also looks after the career development of the individual, to ensure training and development needs are met, and to help facilitate opportunities for career progression. Newly appointed inspectors will invariably operate as part of an ONR team when on site, and would not generally visit site alone for a number of months. Furthermore, their formal legal powers are restricted by the Limited Warrant they hold, and their written output is overseen and peer reviewed as appropriate.

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

Not applicable.